Med Plant Data Base


Moldo-german project 10.820.09.09GA
Evaluation of the pharmaceutic potential
of medicinal plants from natural habitats from Republic of Moldova


Anagallis arvensis

KINGDOM: Plantae » Class: Magnoliopsida » Order: Ericales » Family: Myrsinaceae

Anagallis arvensis


Anagallis arvensis


Kingdom: Plantae

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Ericales

Family: Myrsinaceae

Genus: Anagallis

Species: A. arvensis

Plant description

Scarlet pimpernel has weak
sprawling stems growing to about 50 cm long, which bear bright green ovate
sessile leaves in opposite pairs. The small orange, red or blue flowers are
produced in the leaf axils from spring till autumn. The petal margins are somewhat
crenate and have small glandular hairs. Blue-flowered plants (A. arvensis
Forma azurea) are common in some areas, such as the Mediterranean region, and
should not be confused with the related Blue pimpernel, Anagallis foemina,
sometimes treated as a subspecies, Anagallis arvensis ssp. foemina. In 2007,
a molecular phylogenetic study showed that Anagallis foemina is more closely
related to Anagallis monelli than to Anagallis arvensis, and should be
treated as a separate species.

Diffusion area

Roadsides, pastures, waste
ground, disturbed sites. Typically in moist soil.


Grows on fields, in crop
cultures, gardens and vineyards, on road edges, along the fences and through
the forests. Common in the entire country.

Therapeutic actions

The scarlet pimpernel was at one
time highly regarded as a medicinal herb, especially in the treatment of
epilepsy and mental problems, but there is little evidence to support its
efficacy and it is no longer recommended for internal use because it contains
toxic saponins and cytotoxic cucurbitacins. The whole herb is antitussive,
cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, nervine, purgative, stimulant
and vulnerary. It can be taken internally or applied externally as a
poultice. An infusion is used in the treatment of dropsy, skin infections and
disorders of the liver and gall bladder. The plant is best harvested in June
and can be dried for later use. Use with caution, large doses can cause
polyuria and tremor. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used
internally to treat itchy skins and externally to remove warts.

Used like diuretic, diaphoretic and expectorant. The ancient reputation of
Scarlet Pimpernel has survived to the present day, especially in dealing with
diseases of the brain. Doctors have considered the herb remedial in
melancholy and in the allied forms of mental disease, the decoction or a
tincture being employed.

John Hill (British Herbal, 1756) tells us that the whole plant, dried and
powdered, is good against epilepsy, and there are well authenticated accounts
of this disease being absolutely cured by it. The flowers alone have also
been found useful in epilepsy, 20 grains dried being given four times a day.

It is of a cordial sudorific nature, and a strong infusion of it has been
considered an excellent medicine in feverish complaints, which it relieves by
promoting a gentle perspiration. It was recommended by Culpepper on this
account as a preservative in pestilential and contagious diseases. The same
simple preparation has also been much used among country people in the first
stages of pulmonary consumption, it being stated to have often checked the
disorder and prevented its fatal consequences.

The dried leaves may be given in powder, or an infusion made of the whole
plant dried but according to Green (Universal Herbal, 1832) nothing equals
the infusion of the fresh plant.

The expressed juice has been found serviceable in the beginnings of
dropsies and in obstructions of the liver and spleen. A tincture has also
been used for irritability of the urinary passages, having been found
effective in cases of stone and gravel.

In Gerard's days, a preparation of this herb, called 'Diacorallion,' was
used for gout, and in California a fluid extract is given for rheumatism, in
doses of 1 teaspoonful with water, three times a day.

Biologically active substances

The plant possesses very active
properties, although its virtues are not fully understood. It is known to
contain Saponin, such as the Soapwort also specially furnishes.

Indigenous medicinal plants in databases

>Cimbrisor Thymus serpyllum

Cimbru Thymus vulgaris L.

Ciubotica cucului Primula veris L.

Coacaz Ribes nigrum L.

Coada calului Equisetum

arvense L

Coada soricelului Achillea

millefolium L.

Corn Cornus mas L.

Cosaci Astragalus dasyanthus


Cretusca Filipendula ulmaria L

Crusin Frangula alnus Mill.

Cucurbetica Aristolochia

clematidis L.

Dentita Bidens tripartita L.

Dracila Berberis vulgaris L.

Feciorica Herniaria glabra L.

Centers, institutes, research labs of medicinal plants

1. Department of Biophysics and
Morphogenesis of Plants, University of Silesia, Jagiellońska, Katowice, Poland. Dorota.

2. Department of Botany, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

3. Institute of Plant Biology, Wrocław University, Kanonia
,Wrocław, Poland

4. Laboratorio Regional Noroeste, DILAVE Miguel C. Rubino, Paysandú,



Genetic characteristics

2n=40 chromosomes

Gathering place (figure should be increased)

Anagallis arvensis

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